New reseaech, which looks to uncover how AI is currently being implemented within businesses, finds that despite many organisations now experimenting with AI technology, the underlying strategy for how AI is going to be used within the business is either lacking or not being effectively communicated to employees.
Zokri’s research found that 53 percent of professionals had used AI technology to assist them in their job role within the last 12 months, with the most common uses being research (22%), data analysis (22%) and drafting email copy (21%). However, the research found that this was often done without the knowledge or permission of their manager or superior (46% of respondents).
Almost two-thirds of workers (60%) went on to say that it is likely that their company will increase its use of AI within the next year, however many lacked clarity on what this actually entails with 42 percent reporting that they were confused about how their organisation is planning to use AI.
Key concerns around AI adoption
With more emphasis being placed on automation and the increased usage of AI across the UK, Zokri’s research found that many workers are concerned that AI will lead to mass job losses in their industry.
Almost half (48%) of respondents believe that there will be job losses within their own organisation as a result of AI adoption, with 38 percent specifically worried about their own job security. And over a third (36%) went as far as to state that they were worried that the recent introduction of AI within their sector may lead to the ‘death’ of the industry altogether.
The study also found that many employees were concerned about the ethical implications of implementing AI within the workforce, with 45% percent believing that AI has the potential to make their workplace less ethical. The key ethical concerns flagged by respondents was the potential for AI to create problems with ageism (63% of respondents), gender bias (40%) and racial bias (34%).
Alleviating concerns with strategy
With many employees concerned about the increasing usage of AI within their organisation, the research found that by setting a clear strategy and communicating this across the wider business, business leaders can help reassure their employees. Over three-thirds (67%) of employees stated that a clearly defined strategy for how AI is going to be used within their organisation would make them feel more positive around AI adoption and 62 percent agreed that it would make them feel more positive about their own job security.
The research also found that a clear strategy for AI adoption could have the potential to lead to more organisational success too. Sixty-two percent agreed that it would make them feel more confident about AI being a success for their business, 55 percent believe that it would lead to a better recruitment of talent and 56 percent believe that without a clear strategy for adopting AI their company will struggle to keep up with competitors in the coming years.
Matt Roberts, co-founder of Zokri comments:
“Our research shows that a well-defined strategy for implementing AI is crucial for businesses that seek to remain competitive in the future of work.
Without a clearly communicated plan, organisations risk wasting resources, not having buy-in from employees and ultimately missing out on the opportunities that AI can offer. By setting clear objectives and aligning them with Key Results (OKRs), businesses can ensure that the strategic implementation of AI is focused, measurable, and aligned with overall business strategy and goals.
AI has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses operate, unlocking new levels of efficiency, productivity, and innovation – but business leaders must strive to make sure that they are taking the wider company with them on this journey.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.